One more thing to do!
Running here, running there, running everywhere! I need 5 of me to pull off all my “to do’s” today. How is it possible to do and be all that is expected of us? It’s not. Pure and simple; it’s not possible! I believe that a huge lie from the enemy is that “You must do and be all that the world (and your kids) expect you to be.”
We usually feel the most guilt around what our children expect of us. In the middle of their wants, we forget that they are kids, they don’t have the ability to understand or rationalize that we aren’t super heroes. Frankly, they think we have magical powers. After all, we tell them we have eyes in the back of our heads; we seem to know when they are telling a fib, and when they just “need their mom.” They grow up thinking we are able to scale walls and leap from building to building, flying to the task at hand ever time. It makes sense, then, that they expect us to be there, do that, and handle everything. Forgetting that they are kids, and they live in the fantasy world of “it’s all about me,” we get tricked by their beautiful eyes, and their wonderful smiles or tears, and we take it upon ourselves to handle their fears, their dreams, and their hopes. We are parents; it’s what we do!
One thing I hear time and time again from moms is, “I’m always on the clock. My husband has a Monday-Friday job that he goes to and clocks in and clocks out of. I never get to clock out! I wake at 5 am and I’m still running to pick someone up at 9:30 pm.” If you are a stay-at-home WORKING mom, people say, “Oh, you have time because you don’t work.” What? Excuse me? I want to say, “Please, hang out with me for a day. I’ll show you that I work.” Moms shouldn’t have to prove that they work! Moms work, and we work hard to instill values in our children so that our futures and country can stand-firm amid the battles waged against us. Moms help with homework, grocery shop, clean bathrooms, do laundry, cook dinner, drive to soccer practices, cheerleading competitions, football practice, teacher conferences, doctor appointments, dentist appointment, orthodontist appointments, and the mall when someone needs a particular item that can only be purchased at a store in the mall. Me, I spend so much time at Walmart, I should have my own pink cart with my name on it waiting for me when I arrive! I always park in row 9 at Walmart because that’s the only way I’ll remember where my car is because Lord knows I don’t remember where my head is half the time!
Moms replace watch batteries, buy the needed certain type of shampoo, bring kids to get hair-cuts, balance the checkbook and keep up with whether they can afford a hair cut Saturday, hunt down Under-Armor knee pads and/or a particular running shirt made out of a certain type of material, and help with essays for college applications! Moms do research, make phone calls, tie their hair in a ponytail or simply cut off that long hair in order to be able run from here to there and there to here finding, doing, and being all they can be for their kids!
And if you are a mom who happens to work outside of the home, you do all of the above, and clock in and clock out; which basically means, you never get to clock out from home, but you are also expected to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan! And if you are a single mom… well, let’s just say you basically have to have superpowers to pull all that you pull off all you do in a day!
“Oh, like I needed one more thing to do!” we say as we receive our new orders and tack it onto our already existing list. Sometimes we cry when that one more thing gets added. Sometimes we call a friend and complain. Sometimes we decide that we don’t have time to cry or complain and we just keep marching. Most of just do the latter because we have realized that we only have so much energy to spend in a day, and we can’t afford to spend it on crying or complaining.
Do you see how it’s so easy to believe the lie that we must be it all and do it all for our kids. It takes a mom with super hero stand-fasting powers to say, “Honey, I understand that you want _______________, but I am unable to do that today.” It takes a mom with great tenacity to set some boundaries and say, “No.” Now granted, I know you can’t say “No” to the essential things, but as a mom, I know that there are a few things that you do in a day, that you do simply to be extra nice or because you’ve been guilted into it.
I have to say that most of the guilting is done by ourselves. We allow our kids to make us feel guilty and once it starts, we make ourselves feel extra guilty, which means whatever the request was must be accomplished simply so we can lay our heads down at night without hating ourselves. Some of those things can be scratched off the list. Our kids don’t have the ability to understand how overwhelmed we feel; they are kids! This is why we always say, “You’ll understand when you are older.” As moms, we simply must take the bull by the horns and say, “No.” If you are a mom in your late 20’s, you are probably just now realizing that you really and truly can’t do it all. If you are a mom in your 30’s, you are probably hurt and angry about all that you’ve been doing. If you are a mom in your 40’s, you are probably just “over it,” in a lot of ways, which means that you don’t get as upset as you used to over things. Plus, if you are an older mom, things don’t phase you like they used to. If you are a mom in your 50’s or older, call me and give me some advice! Forget the advice, can you go to the store for me? I need some help here! Smile. If you are a mom with a child who has special needs, you may have done what I did: gained 20 pounds and got shingles because you really did think you had to save your child from their disability.
Today I challenge you to say, “No” to something. I promise it won’t kill you. It might hurt a little (especially if someone throws a fit about it and tries to guilt you into it: and I’m talking about more people than just our kids), but it won’t cost you your life. In fact, I encourage you to say, “No,” to something so that your everyday doesn’t steal your sanity from you.
I talk with Warrior Moms all the time, and we have come to the conclusion that we really do have the power to carve out some sanity for ourselves, but we must do it! Nobody else is going to do it for us. Has anyone ever come up to you and said, “Oh, I see you have way too much to do today; what can I do for you?” Other Warrior Moms or a really good girlfriend doesn’t count. We must do it. This is why I write a chapter about delegating in The Warrior Mom Handbook. This is why I write about our enemy, and encourage you to unite with other Warrior Moms.
When you get together with other believers you start to derail lies of this world with the truth of God’s Word. When you get into the Word merely by yourself, the enemy tries to take the truth of God’s Word and turn it against you (just like he did to Jesus). The enemy lies to us telling us that we don’t have enough faith, grace, and love! And when we are alone, we start to believe it. We believe that we aren’t “Christian enough.” The enemy doesn’t tire of whispering and yelling lies at us – ever! More so, what happens is that we get so tired of going and doing all day that sometimes we don’t’ get into the Word, and the lies become louder than God’s truth, and even though we are in the Word (a little) we get defeated. This is why it is essential that you don’t remain isolated and alone because if you remain isolated, you’ll start to believe the lie that you must do all and be all to everyone. When you remain isolated, you don’t realize that the lady next door and down the street and across the country is feeling the exact same way. Oh, but when you unite with other Warrior Moms, you realize that Suzy and Betsy are dealing with the very same thing – and 99% of it is built on lies of this world!
Now that you have said, “No” to something else, I feel fine about giving you one more thing to do today:
Unite with another Warrior Mom! (and another, and another, and another until we have spread the message of hope across the nation and beyond!) And by the way, you don’t have to be a mom to take this message to heart. You don’t even have to be a woman. Men are expected to protect and provide, lead, be strong, and never quit. Men deal with a lot of pressures! Plus, they deal with a lot of women too! Think about how hard it is to be a man and try to understand what women are complaining about half the time…. that’s got to be a huge challenge in need of God’s strength and wisdom to help them through. If you are a man, unite with other Godly men to help and support you.
If we have been united with him like this in death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with.
If you have any encouragement from being united in Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus
My purpose is that you may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full richness of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you [especially the enemy who lives to lie to you!] by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.